It happens a lot. In street racing, or even training in the park, we always find someone we “need” to defeat. Whether it is crossing the finish line at the front, or just a little peck on the shoulder, this healthy rivalry we cultivate is good.
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In a study recently published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality ScienceNew York University researchers interviewed 72 runners on the subject.
Of the total, 56.6% reported having at least one person with whom they feel in a state of competition.
Runners have an average of up to three "rivals". And we seem to choose these opponents ourselves by three criteria.
One is similarity: same age and same body, passing and leaving you behind - this is psychologically inadmissible.
Another is frequency, as always being overtaken by the same person.
And the last one is because we choose to have “pet peeve” with someone, really.
For 70%, having an “enemy” on the track motivates you to run faster, stronger and more often - just thinking about missing one training day while the other one is there, painting, is very angry.
But calm down. What has been found does not mean that we should go around making enemies. I see it more as a moment of reflection. After all, this whole “dispute” happens only in our mind, and it must be motivating and inspiring. Our biggest rival is ourselves.